There are different types of engines on the boat and they all have advantages and disadvantages. The engine mainly depends on your boat. Retrofitting to the latest technology of an electric motor is almost always possible. We tell you what to look out for, enjoy reading!! We have divided the article into the following sections:
Outboard and inboard are the most common types of engines. Bow motors are often used by anglers for short distances. Sailing boats and sailing yachts, on the other hand, are often operated by a flange motor, saildrive or underfloor motor.
We could just make it easy for ourselves Please follow the manufacturer's instructions when assembling! You should definitely pay attention to this. We don't want you to hurt your boat, your new engine or, in the worst case, yourself!
You need suitable equipment for the assembly, depending on the size and weight of your engine. If you make gross mistakes in assembly, you risk seriously damaging your boat. <b>Our tip</b>: Find a boat builder in good time before the start of the season so that you can quickly bring the boat into the water in spring to take the first electric tour.
Outboards are particularly widespread in smaller boats and inflatable boats up to 15 HP and are of course also used in larger pleasure boats or houseboats. The components of the electric motor, driveshaft and possibly the gearbox of the motor are installed in one housing. It can be operated on the boat engine using a tiller or steering wheel and remote throttle.
Outboards can be easily (dis) assembled. They are significantly more flexible and can be dismantled after the trip or for the winter. The disadvantage is that outboards are stolen more often. Don't worry: There are other ways to secure the engine from theft in addition to dismantling!
An outboard is easily installed on the engine mirror, which is located at the stern of the boat. It is attached using clamping screws or bolts. Depending on the weight of the engine, this is easy, especially for engines under 11kW (15PS) and can usually be carried out by the layperson.
Size and weight vary from 2.2kg to 470kg depending on the outboard motor. For the larger models, it is advisable to use a hoist such as a crane due to the higher weight. You can also hire a service provider for installation.
When purchasing an outboard motor, you should always pay attention to the correct shaft length! In our article "In 4 steps to the perfect electric drive" you will find the right shaft length for the boat engine.
A wave position consists of a motor that is permanently installed in the hull of the boat. The engine drives a rigid shaft to which a propeller is attached. The operation takes place via remote throttle and the control takes over a rudder, which is attached behind the propeller and is controlled with a steering wheel.
The assembly is more complex than with an outboard and should usually be carried out by an expert. The boat should also be lifted out of the water, which may require a crane. The existing shaft system can usually continue to be used. The inboard engine is firmly installed in the hull of the boat.
The structure of a bow motor is very similar to that of an outboard motor, but they are characterized by their low weight. However, it is mounted on the bow and thus rather <i>pulls</i> the boat. It can be operated using a tiller or, thanks to remote throttle, with hand or foot control.
Bow motors are installed on the bow of the boat and pull the boat as the only one of the different motor types. This improves maneuverability. Bow motors are often used for fishing because both hands are free thanks to pedal control. Due to the lower thrust, bow engines are not recommended for a heavier boat.
There are sometimes autopilots for driving routes or a GPS spot lock, in which the bow motor automatically holds the boat in the same place. For anglers, an integrated sonar can be connected to an echo sounder. Automatic lowering and catching up of the engine at the push of a button is also possible.
The installation takes place directly on the boat or on a mounting plate, which is firmly connected to the boat. A mounting plate has the advantage that you can quickly assemble and disassemble the motor. If you don't want to keep the engine permanently on the boat, this makes a lot of sense. The assembly is not complex and can easily be carried out by yourself.
When purchasing a bow motor, you should always pay attention to the correct shaft length! In our article "In 4 steps to the perfect electric drive" you will find the right shaft length for your boat.
The drive consists of a compact and watertight housing in which the motor is integrated. It is flanged to the bottom of the boat and is not rotatable. It is operated using the remote throttle and the steering is carried out by an oar attached to the stern of the boat. A pod motor is controlled by means of a steering wheel and control electronics, and the battery is in the boat.
A flange motor takes up very little space inside the ship since the motor is completely housed in the pod housing and no motor components protrude into the inside of the ship. Flanged motors are common on sailboats. The limited maneuverability can be a disadvantage as the motor cannot be rotated directly.
The installation should be carried out by a specialist on land before the boat has to be lifted out of the water. The effort is less than with a saildrive, since only a few smaller holes for fastening to the fuselage and a larger one are required for the cable duct. Existing bores and plinths can usually continue to be used. The good sealing of the holes in the fuselage is particularly important.
A saildrive is similar to a pod motor, the components of the motor protrude into the boat compared to the flange motor. There are also rotatable versions, but the standard is a fixed motor that is controlled by a rudder system. The base is laminated to the boat hull and existing bases can usually be used when purchasing an electric sail drive.
Operation takes place via a remote throttle. Rotatable sail drives can differ in the size of the maximum angle of rotation, as well as in the mechanical or electrical control. Saildrive motors are particularly popular with sailing boats. The assembly is comparable to that of a pod motor.
An underfloor motor (tubular motor) also consists of a waterproof housing with an integrated motor. The motor hangs on the rotating Henegatt pipe and goes through the hull. The structure is similar to a flange motor, only the pod can be rotated, which improves maneuverability. When installing, there are no differences compared to saildrives.
As you can see, you can also drive an electric motor faster than the police allow. However, a moderate speed is recommended for longer boat tours. In addition, of course, the speed specifications on the waters also apply, which we, of course, recommend adhering to.
Electric boat drives are operated and controlled in the same way as internal combustion engines. The most common type of operation for boat engines is remote control using the throttle and steering wheel control. If you have an existing steering wheel control on your boat, you can continue to use it without any problems.
The steering wheel control is much more comfortable to use, especially if you have a larger boat. The steering wheel either controls the rotatable motor/motor mirror or a rudder. The control usually works hydraulically or mechanically and must be connected to the steering wheel as well as to the motor or the rudder.
Similar to a motorcycle, the throttle lever is integrated into the handle in the tiller and the handle is turned to accelerate. The engine can be turned with the tiller and the boat can be steered in this way. The advantage of the tiller control is that it is cheaper and requires no additional components. You can control the motor directly.
Depending on the model and manufacturer, the tiller is rigid, extendable or even swiveling. If the engine model has an on-board computer or a battery indicator, this is integrated into the tiller. With remote control models, this is integrated with the remote control lever, displayed on the battery monitor or even on an app on the smartphone.
The principle is the same for combustion engines and electric motors, so care should be taken to ensure that there is enough fuel for the combustion engine and that the electric motor has a sufficiently large battery.
Absolute luxury is an autopilot control. This is only supplementary and always requires a different type of control. With an autopilot, the course is held or a route is followed, similar to an airplane. The advantage: you have both hands free and can enjoy the time on board better.
When trimming, you change the angle at which the motor shaft faces the water. With optimal trim, the boat has a very good course and side stability. The energy is completely converted into a propeller thrust. The motor is tilted in a certain direction, so to speak.
Depending on how big this inclination is, there are different angles with which the boat stands at the water surface. Engine trim is only performed on outboard and sterndrive engines by tilting the engine, as the other engine types are rigid. Trim tabs are used on the other engine types.
This angle varies depending on the boat, boat type and load. It cannot be generalized which trim angle is optimal. What matters is how the boat is in the water when driving and how the engine is in the water. The bow of the boat should neither protrude too far out of the water nor be completely horizontal or even point towards the water surface.
If the trim angle is too large, the bow of the boat lifts very far out of the water, especially when gliding. The result is a too bad course and side stability. It often leads to the engine drawing air, especially in curves.
If the engine is trimmed too far in the direction of the mirror, part of the propeller thrust is directed against the hull. This pushes the bow deep into the water. The consequences are that the boat loses stability and slows down because a lot of power is wasted. As a result, energy consumption is higher than normal.
With most engine models, the trim angle is set manually. There are several predefined trim positions in which the motor can be adjusted. This type of adjustment is effective and inexpensive but unsuitable for heavy engine weights. A power trim is recommended at this point.
With the power trim, the trim angle of the engine can be changed from the cockpit. The electronic remote control makes manual adjustment unnecessary. A power trim is especially helpful for larger and heavier models. Various larger models have already integrated the power trim into the motor, others can be retrofitted using an adapter plate.
If you do not want to or cannot adjust the trim yourself, you will find the perfect solution with an automatic trim adjustment. The optimum trim angle is determined once by the dealer or boat expert and can then be restored again at the push of a button.
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We use standard values for all information and calculations. Individual deviations are of course possible. Each boat has different properties and accordingly, we can not give any guarantee for the information. Your boat may need more or less power than recommended.
The information on our website is written with great care. Nevertheless, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information and assume no liability for damage caused by errors in the texts.
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